Monday, December 16, 2013

A Time for Change

Well, I honestly don't want to write a letter this week because it's just going to depress y'all!
This week has been difficult to say the least. I've been having extreme knee problems and haven't been able to do too much. Tracting just doesn't work when you cannot walk at all. My poor companion has been pushing me around in a wheelchair almost everywhere! It's quite the sight though when we're attempting to go door to door (attempting being the key word here). It's been really rough though - there will be moments when I just start crying because it hurts so much and medications just don't aliveate the pain.
The worst part of all the knee problems is that it's near impossible to get work done. Haven't been able to walk anywhere, go tracting, or even concentrate in personal study half the time. Luckily (thankfully), Sister Devenport has been able to go on exchanges with the other sisters in the district and at least get SOME work done. While I hang out at members' homes and eat cookies (okay, so it's not all that bad).
All of these problems though has given me an even stronger testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. For awhile, I felt that no one knew what I was suffering. It had been hurting so much. Then on Wednesday during District Meeting, our whole lesson was based on the Atonement. Right then, I knew that Jesus himself felt this pain. He had suffered though what I was going through already - He knew what pain I was in at that moment. Because of that, it gave me strength to smile through the pain. I know that He is giving me strength to handle it. During the afternoon hours when we work the most, Christ lessens the pain and allows it to return ten-fold during the mornings and nights, when I don't have to push myself as hard. It truly has been a miracle to witness His love and intercession these two past weeks.
It may suck being in constant pain, but I wouldn't ask for anything else. For this has strengthened my testimony and given me deeper understanding of the Atonement and all that Christ does for me and all that He will do.
President McDonough made transfer calls on Friday night. Right in the middle of a spiritual thought with some members. Of course, we jumped right up and answered the call because if we miss it, we don't find out for another few days. He certainly was inspired (and probably directed by Sister McDonough) to place me in a new area - BILOXI!
I won't be going far - it's about 40 miles away, still in the same stake and county. Which means I can come back to Waveland ward when Jeff and Domonic get baptized! I'm placed in a trio with Sisters Garzan and Armstrong. My apartment is on the bottom floor (which means NO STAIRS) and I get to work right on the Keesler Air Force base! It's full car (one of the few full car areas left) and there's almost no walking. It's the perfect perfect area for me with all the knee issues I've been having. I'm so excited to go there! I'll be packing up today and heading out tomorrow.
In other news, Domonic came to church on Sunday! Which was amazing because we really didn't have a chance to teach him this week from all the knee problems I've been having and members not being able to come to lessons with us. Once Priesthood ended, he came up to us and asked if dreams were revelatory. We explained that they can be and most people who have received revelations through dreams wake up feeling as if that dream was very sacred. Curious, we asked what his dream was.
Domonic said, "Well, I dreamt that I saw a bright light. Very very bright - it hurt my eyes even. As I was staring at it, my heart swelled and I was thinking 'Jesus Christ' in my head. Then I yelled out 'JOSEPH SMITH' from the top of my lungs and I begun to see heiroglyphics. Then I saw Sister Durrant standing in a freezer, handing me delicious white fruit. I woke up with a very sacred feeling about it."
Sister Devenport and I were just dumbfounded. I'm pretty sure my jaw was dropped and I looked like a fool. I didn't even know what to say! Sadly, before we could elaborate, someone inturppted us and we didn't have a chance to really talk after that.
We set up an appointment to teach on Wednesday, but I won't be there! Sister Devenport and I planned to set him with December 28th as his baptismal date. And with everything that has happened? I feel confident that he will be baptized soon!
It's crazy to look back on his journey. Sister Jones and I tracted into him way back in July. When we were tracting his apartment complex, we actually weren't going to go to his door. We had tracted up to the hall right before him and decided that it was time to do something else. Well, all the members were busy, no less-actives were answering their door, and the library was closed for some odd reason. Everything we had tried to do fell through so we decided to go back and tract the rest of the apartments. Then we met Domonic.
Our first two lessons went really well with him. We walked away thinking that he was golden and we'd have a baptism in no time. Then the next lesson came around and he tried to tell us that the Bible was all we needed and to forget the Book of Mormon.
So we dropped him.
A few weeks later, we ran into him and started teaching him once more. Everything went pretty well for a few lessons but then he started to be contentious and wasn't keeping his commitments.
So we dropped him.
Then the first week Sister Devenport came, Domonic was in church randomly! So we began to teach him once more! All semmed to work out well, but he started to tell us once more that the Bible was all we needed and he refused to read the Book of Mormon.
So we dropped him.
Then about three weeks later, he called us several times begging to meet with us because a Bible verse had changed his heart. This time around, he seemed very open and willing to learn. But after awhile, he started to be angry and tried to prove us wrong in everything we taught.
So we dropped him.
But he came back, sending us a text asking if becoming Mormon will make him a better person. Now, he texts us everyday, asking gospel questions. He's always asking for lessons and appointments and does everything he can to make it to church functions. He's so open and willing to learn. He's a completely different person now.
It's been amazing to watch him grow and change. To see Heavenly Father work on him and bring him back to the gospel time and time again. I feel so blessed I've been able to witness this. I'm just a by-stander in his life - watching Heavenly Father show him the way.
I'm so thankful I've been in Pass Christian for 6 months - for a 1/3 of my mission. I wouldn't have asked for it any other way. I've seen miracles. I've watched people change. I've experienced every range of emotion while here. There's been tremendous joy to crushing heartache. But I wouldn't ask for any other way. I'm sad to be leaving tomorrow, but I'm full of hope and faith for Biloxi.

All my love,

Sister Sarah Michéle Durrant

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